Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Pedestrian accidents are some of the deadliest and most catastrophic types of accidents possible. This is often because pedestrians lack any type of protection from the massive size and strength of a 4,000-pound passenger vehicle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 7,000 pedestrians were killed in crashes involving a motor vehicle, and another 104,000 pedestrians were treated for non-fatal motor vehicle accident injuries in 2020. 14% of fatal traffic collisions in Indiana are pedestrian crashes.

Merry Fountain is our Indianapolis injury attorney. She is equipped to represent accident victims because she is a seasoned personal injury lawyer and has also been the victim of a motor vehicle accident. She knows the type of support accident victims need and is dedicated to providing it. Our pedestrian accident lawyers have a strong understanding of the laws that affect our clients’ cases and can develop a customized legal strategy for you. When you call us for a free case review, we can discuss your legal rights and options. 

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Many pedestrian accidents occur because of the negligence of motorists. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Failing to obey traffic laws – Indiana has specific laws regarding the interaction between motorists and pedestrians, especially at crosswalks. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk and should not drive around other vehicles that are stopped in the crosswalk and may be waiting for pedestrians. 
  • Distractions – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,522 people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers in 2021. When drivers are distracted, they may not see a pedestrian until just before the crash. 
  • Left turns – Drivers turning left may not be paying attention to nearby pedestrians and may turn right into the path of a crossing pedestrian. Left-hand turns are associated with approximately one-quarter of all pedestrian crashes.
  • Speeding – Drivers who are speeding require more time to stop once they recognize a hazard like a pedestrian. Additionally, accidents at higher speeds are associated with more severe injuries. 
  • Drugs or alcohol – Drivers should avoid drinking or doing drugs before driving. These intoxicants can significantly impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely because it slows their reaction time, affects their depth perception, causes them to make risky decisions, and maintains a vehicle in a lane. 

Determining Liability for Pedestrian Accidents

Typically, a negligent motorist is responsible for a pedestrian accident, such as when the motorist:

  • Is texting and driving
  • Does not look both ways before turning at an intersection
  • Fails to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol 
  • Driving too fast to be able to stop to avoid a collision 

In some situations, there is a problem with the crosswalk or intersection, including:

  • Poor crosswalk location
  • Dangerous road designs 
  • Failure to consider upstream and downstream traffic flows
  • Defective traffic control devices

In those situations, the government agency or engineer responsible for road design may be responsible for the accident.

A vehicle manufacturer can be held responsible if a defect in the car contributed to the accident, such as brakes that do not operate correctly. 

In some cases, a pedestrian may be found at fault for a pedestrian accident, such as when they do not cross at a crosswalk or dart between parked vehicles. 

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you must take steps to safeguard your rights, including:

Report the Accident 

Reporting the accident to authorities will do a few things for you:

  • An ambulance can report to the scene immediately so you can receive treatment from emergency responders
  • A law enforcement officer can be called to the scene if a crime has been committed, such as a hit-and-run or drunk driving
  • The accident can be documented in case the at-fault party tries to deny it later

Seek Medical Attention 

Call for emergency help. Don’t assume a bystander will do it for you. This can ensure that you receive treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek medical attention, the more closely you can tie your injuries to the accident. 

Document the Scene 

If possible, try to preserve evidence at the scene. It may be cleaned up after the accident, and it can be difficult to put the pieces back together. Some ways you might be able to do this include:

  • Taking pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and any debris on the roadway
  • Asking witnesses for their contact information
  • Noting the location of any nearby traffic or surveillance camera
  • Keeping the clothes you were wearing at the time of the accident to preserve evidence

Continue Your Treatment 

It’s not enough just to get treatment immediately after the accident. You must continue your treatment to show that you are taking your health seriously and follow your care team’s instructions. Take your doctor’s advice about limiting work and other strenuous activities while you recover, and don’t be afraid to seek additional support if you need it. 

Keep Documentation of the Accident

You may start accumulating paperwork and other evidence related to the accident. Keep all of this information and provide it to your pedestrian accident lawyer. This information may include:

  • Photos and videos of the accident
  • Medical bills and records
  • Employment records that show the work you missed
  • Payment for out-of-pocket expenses

Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

A pedestrian accident lawyer can protect your rights and help you navigate the process so you can focus on your recovery. 

How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You

A pedestrian accident lawyer can assist you with every stage of your case. Some of the most important actions they can take include:

Investigate the Accident

Your pedestrian accident lawyer will commence an investigation to determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible for it. This may involve the following steps:

  • Reviewing the accident report
  • Reading statements from you, the driver, and any witnesses
  • Studying accident scene pictures
  • Inspecting the accident scene and all property damage
  • Reviewing your medical records

A lawyer can conduct an independent investigation into the accident, which is important because the driver’s insurance company will be looking only for ways to minimize or deny the value of your claim, not to fairly compensate you for the injuries you suffered.

Gather Strong Evidence

Sometimes, there may not be immediate evidence that can help determine liability and additional evidence is necessary. Your lawyer can take steps to obtain additional evidence, such as:

  • Witness statements
  • Traffic camera or surveillance footage of the accident
  • The driver’s cell phone and bank records
  • Chemical test results if the driver was suspected of drinking and driving
  • Electronic data recorder information 
  • Accident reconstruction reports
  • Reports from other expert witnesses

Calculating Your Damages

Another way an accident lawyer can help you is by calculating the full cost of the losses you have suffered because of the accident. This not only takes into consideration the immediate expenses you incurred because of the accident, such as your medical expenses but also your long-term losses, such as a reduction in your earning capacity. Experienced accident lawyers will have a better grasp of the long-term effects and potential value of your claim. 

Negotiating with the Insurance Company

Your lawyer can handle communication with the insurance company to protect your rights and claim. Insurance adjusters are often trained at finding ways to devalue claims, such as convincing accident victims to give them recorded statements or broad releases for medical records. Your lawyer will be familiar with these tactics and know how to circumvent them. 

Personal injury lawyers can often estimate the value of a claim based on previous cases with similar facts. When the insurance company offers a low settlement amount, your lawyer can fight to get a fair settlement. 

Compensation Available After a Pedestrian Accident 

If you are injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a motorist’s carelessness, you have the right to pursue compensation for the full amount of losses you have experienced and will likely experience in the future. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to recover compensation for the following losses:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  • Lost benefits
  • Medical equipment and rehabilitation
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Contact an Experienced Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer 

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident because of another person’s carelessness the Fountain Law Firm, P.C. is here to help you demand it. We have over 20 years of legal experience helping accident victims just like you recover the compensation they are due. We provide a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. Call us today to get started.

Pedestrian Accident FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions we receive about pedestrian accidents and our answers:

What Is My Case Worth? 

Every pedestrian accident case is different. Victims may suffer different types of injuries and be impacted by the accident differently, so there is no real average amount of compensation. Additionally, most accident cases are resolved through confidential settlements, so it can be difficult to determine the value of other cases. 

Furthermore, many factors can affect the potential value of your case, including:

  • The nature and severity of your injuries
  • The amount of insurance coverage available for the accident
  • Liability for the accident
  • How the injury has affected you 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and estimate the potential value of your case. 

How Do I Prove the Driver’s Liability? 

Your pedestrian accident lawyer will take steps to prove the driver’s liability, such as:

  • Investigating the accident
  • Gathering evidence 
  • Reviewing evidence
  • Determining responsibility for the accident 
  • Reviewing witness statements and interviewing witnesses
  • Obtaining additional evidence

What If the Driver Hit and Ran? 

In some pedestrian accident cases, the at-fault driver flees the accident scene. This may be because they get scared, they knew they were committing a crime like drinking and driving, or they do not want to be held financially responsible for the accident. If this happened in your case, you should cooperate with law enforcement so the at-fault driver can be identified. If the driver cannot be located, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. 

How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated? 

One of the most difficult types of damages in a personal injury case to quantify is pain and suffering. This is because there is no objective way to measure the value of your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is not calculated using a set mathematical formula.  It is based on varying individual factors such as seriousness of injury, type of medical treatment, length of medical treatment, effect on life, and whether or not there is any permanency. If your case goes to court, jurors will be instructed to use their best judgment in determining the dollar value of pain and suffering.

How Long After a Pedestrian Accident Can I Sue?

The statute of limitations is the timeline you have to take certain legal actions. In a personal injury case, you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit against the negligent party to prevent their case from being time-barred. In Indiana, the personal injury statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the injury. If this timeline passes and you have not filed a lawsuit, the defendant can move to dismiss your case, and the court can order it dismissed because of the passing of the statute of limitations. 

There are some situations when you have less time than this to file your claim. Also, delays in obtaining a legal consultation can cause difficulty in obtaining important evidence of fault and, medical documentation.  Therefore, it is best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately to find out the deadline that applies to your particular case.